Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Where in the world is Dennis Moore?

Kansas City Star's Primebuzz blog broke the story that Dennis Moore is somewhere abroad, likely in Europe, but his staff mysteriously refuses to say where he is, when he left, or when he will return. Oh and the reasoning? National security issues. We don't want Moore being attacked by terrorists. Even though congressmen and women travel all the time around the world, even to hot spots like Iraq and Israel while letting the press and their constituents know, apparently Dennis Moore is just way too important. Of course, this is a taxpayer-funded trip, and the residents of Johnson, Douglas, and Wyandotte counties deserve to know what their elected representative is doing for them. Apparently, Dennis doesn't think we deserve to know.

At least when the governor travels around the country every week campaigning for Obama on the taxpayer's dime, we know where she is. Unfortunately, Moore cannot give us the same courtesy. Another reason to vote out this out-of-touch congressman who's been in Washington for far too long.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Ben Hodge to run for Barbara Allen's state senate seat

The Konnection has learned that Rep. Ben Hodge (R-Overland Park) has announced that he will run for Sen. Barbara Allen's (R-Overland Park) state senate seat. Allen just announced that she will be stepping down after serving 20 years in the state legislature. Hodge, who succeeded Scott Schwab as representative of the 49th house district (parts of southern Overland Park and Olathe), is the first candidate to announce for Allen's seat.

The 8th district state senate seat includes a portion of Lenexa (stretching from Shawnee Mission Parkway to 79th and Switzer) and a portion of Overland Park (bounded by Quivira to the west and Nall to the east and stretching south to I-435 and 107th street). The 8th senate district voted for Bush in 2004, 55 percent to 44 percent, but the district only gave Kris Kobach 43 percent of their vote in his challenge to Congressman Dennis Moore that same year.

No Democrat has yet announced plans to run for the seat.

Continue to check the Konnection for further updates regarding this race.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Could the youth vote be up for grabs?

Barack Obama's greatest success to date is his ability to mobilize American youth, who have voted in overwhelming numbers in this year's primaries and caucuses. Without the large turnout of college students and 18-24 year olds, Hillary would currently be the nominee. It is always assumed that Democrats garner the youth vote and this was true in the past few elections (18-24 year olds supported Kerry over Bush in 2004, 56 to 44 percent. That same year, party identification among 18-24 year olds split 39 percent Democrat, 32 percent Republican, and 29 percent unaffiliated). Yet this was not always the case. Ronald Reagan won the youth vote by more than 20 points in 1980 and 1984 and George H.W. Bush also won the youth vote in 1988, although by a smaller margin.

And while most of the youth registered as Democrats to vote for Obama in the state-by-state contests, there are some encouraging signs for the GOP. In most contests, 18-24 year olds as a pecertage of total Democratic voters was usually only a point or two higher than the portion of 18-24 year olds as a percentage of total Republican voters--the largest difference occured in Iowa, where 22 percent of Democrats were 18-24 years old compared to only 11 percent of Republicans--this can be attributed to the excitement leading up to the first-in-the-nation caucuses and Obama's unprecedented campus mobilization effort. In two states--Arkansas and Connecticut--young voters (18-24) actually made up a greater proportion of Republican primary voters than Democratic primary voters. In three states, 18-24 year olds turned out in greater numbers to vote Republican than Democrat--in other words, a majority of 18-24 year olds who turned out to vote in Florida, Georgia, and Utah voted Republican.

And the Obama magic may be starting to wear off. A recent AP-Yahoo! News poll finds that 38 percent of 18-29 year olds support McCain vs. 37 percent for Obama (McCain wins young voters 43-28 percent against Hillary). Trying to obtain an accurate sample of youth is fairly difficult since many have only cell phones (no landlines) and are in college, moving back and forth from their personal places of residency to their campuses. Yet the poll shows that McCain's independent image as a maverick and reformer can help offset and neutralize Obama's appeal.

One thing is for sure: no party can afford to ignore the youth vote any longer. More than 10 million youth turned out to vote in the 2006 midterm elections, a 4 percent increase from 2004. Those numbers are expected to dramatically increase this year, making the "millenial" generation a powerful voting block and a force to be reckoned with in future elections.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Conservatives Make a Comeback in UK, electing first Conservative London Mayor as Europe Makes Turn to the Right

After 18 years of Labour control, the Conservative Party routed its opposition in local elections throughout the United Kingdom last weekend as the Labour party suffered its worst defeat in more than four decades, losing 330 seats in local legislative bodies around the country and seeing its share of the national vote drop to 28 percent. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown suffers from his lowest approval rating and nationally, according to the latest polling, the Conservative party enjoys its largest lead over Labour since 1968, with 49 percent of the British electorate favoring the Conservatives compared to Labour's 34 percent. Over the weekend, the Conservatives gained control of 12 town councils while Labour lost 9, giving the Conservatives control of 65 town councils compared to Labour's 18. The Tories posted a net gain of 257 councillors to give them a total of 3,155 elected councillors while Labour lost 334 councillors giving them a total of 2,365 elected councillors. Nationally, the Tories garnered 44 percent of the vote compared to Labour's 24 percent.

Probably the biggest story of the night was the election of London's first Conservative mayor EVER! Boris Johnson, a former journalist who was born in the United States and edited the politically conservative American magazine The American Spectator, beat Ken Livingstone (whose defense of radical Islamic leaders and visits to Cuba and Venezuela where he lavished praise on those dictatorial leaders earned him the nickname of "Ken the Red"). Livingstone was a self-declared socialist who was forced out of the Labour party and only recently re-admitted. Johnson's win over Livingstone by 140,000 votes out of more than 2 million cast cannot be understated. Everyone thought he would close the gap significantly, but no media or pundits predicted that a conservative could win control of the United Kingdom's largest and most politically liberal city. Astonishingly enough, Conservatives now have a plurality of seats on London's General Assembly (the equivalent of a American city council) with 12 seats compared to Labour's 8 seats.

By 2010, it is expected that Conservatives will win a majority in parliament and elect David Cameron Prime Minister, fully returning the Conservatives to power for the first time since the days of Margaret Thatcher and John Major.

This is significant on many fronts. Last year, France elected its most conservative and pro-American president in decades, Nicholas Sarkozy, who pledged to bring free market reforms to the socialist country and implement a far-reaching tax cut.

Just a few weeks ago, Italians returned Silvio Berlusconi to power as prime minister and gave his conservative Forza Italia! party majorities in both houses. Silvio Berlusconi is unabashedly pro-American and supported the War in Iraq politically and militarily. For the first time since World War II, not one Communist or Green party member was elected to the Italian parliament.

And in 2005, anti-American liberal, Social Democrat Gerhard Schroeder was thrown out of office as Germans elected right-of-center Christian Democratic Union candidate Angela Merkel as their new chancellor. Merkel, who was raised in Communist East Germany, is an avid free-market proponent and anti-Communist, having been victim to Communist oppression as a child.

In 2006, Swedish voters rejected the ruling Social Democrats and elected Fredrik Reinfeldt of the Moderate Party (a center-right party) as their prime minister, giving Swedish conservatives only their second victory in 26 years. Reinfeldt ran on a platform of tax cuts, union reforms, and privatization and is also a fervant American supporter (incidentally, he traveled to the U.S. in 2004 to work on behalf of Bush's re-election and his party is a member of the International Democratic Union (ICU), an organization of center-right parties from around the world of which the U.S. Republican Party is a member). Under Reinfeldt's leadership, Sweden supported American involvement in Iraq and is a partner in helping to rebuild the country.

So as Europe tires of decades of experimenting with anti-Americanism, big governmnent, burdensome labor laws, and lagging productivity and high unemployment, the continent is seeking to reform its socialist welfare states and is trending rightward like never before.

The question is: just as Europe begins to elect leaders with similarities to the American values of individualism, capitalism, free market innovations, and limited government, will Americans do the unthinkable and elect one of the most liberal Democrats whose agenda includes socialist elements, and in turn send a message to Europe that we are no longer committed to the ideals that we helped foster and spread to their continent?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

2nd, 3rd District Updates

2nd District Update
Lynn Jenkins opened her campaign office to much fanfare on Saturday. The office was crowded and Kansans were eager to hear the State Treasurer speak. Kansas' new national Republican Committeewoman, Helen Van Etten, was also present. Just one day before, the campaign released an internal poll that showed Jenkins beating Ryun, 48 to 41 percent. Jenkins pledged not to go negative and reiterated the three main planks of her campaign: making the Bush tax cuts permanent, cutting spending, and ending illegal immigration--all part of her theme of bringing "New Republican Leadership" to Washington. Jenkins also alleged that Ryun's negative attacks against her were a substitute for his lack of legislative accomplishments while serving in the house. Lynn said she has visited every county in the 2nd district; Jim Ryun is also working hard, visiting every county. This will be a blockbuster primary and general election race against "Bad News" Boyda.

3rd District Update
Jordan continues to work hard and has posted incredible fundraising totals. On April 14th, Jordan and his campaign staff stood outside local post offices to remind taxpayers of Dennis Moore's poor record on taxes and his failure to vote for tax relief for millions of hardworking Americans.

According to Stu Rothenberg, the 2nd District race is currently a toss-up, and the 3rd District race has been demoted from "likely Democratic" to "leans Democratic." We at the Konnection expect the 3rd District rating to change soon to "toss up" as well, now that Moore has to run against a popular state senator with a record of accomplishment--something that Moore does not have. Several years ago, jokes were made that Moore was perhaps the most unknown congressman among his colleagues--few fellow representatives could identify him. The third district, a hub for business and bio-science, should be represented by a congressman who is recognizable by all and who fights for his district by actually sponsoring bills and taking a leadership position in the house. Representation for Johnson, Wyandotte, and part of Douglas counties has been lacking for 10 years now--Kansas deserves better.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Lynn Jenkins Campaign Office Grand Opening

The Konnection has learned that the Lynn Jenkins for Congress campaign will be celebrating the grand opening of their new campaign office in Topeka this Saturday, May 3rd from 10:30 to 11:30 am at 4011 SW Gage Blvd. Supporters are invited to join the campaign for doughnuts and coffee, while learning how to get involved in one of the most closely watched congressional races in the country.